Does Your Digital Marketing Include Calls-to-Action (CTA)?

Small businesses have limited marketing budgets, so each dollar must generate a strong return on investment. Your organization can't afford to waste money on ineffectual campaigns. In the 21st century, digital marketing often produces more revenue per dollar of spend than traditional marketing efforts such as newspaper ads, radio commercials and mailings. Social media marketing budgets should, in fact, be near zero for small businesses. Looking at our own data, we will reach about 75,000 people this month by digital marketing for a cost of about $50.

To improve your website and social media, you need calls-to-action (CTA). What is a CTA? It's a specific website element or piece of digital marketing content designed to encourage a desirable response from each viewer. Let's look at some examples of effective CTA usage from our own business and clientele.

This is a Facebook post with a link to order a deli lunch. The link is the CTA. We want to make ordering extremely easy. Note the use of an image to drive the post higher in newsfeeds due to Facebook's algorithms.


Here's a tweet we created for another client. We combined an image announcing an award won by the inn's restaurant with a link to make an online reservation to create a single effective CTA. Again, note how we promote a specific reaction from potential customers.


On our Sporting Goods Monitor website, we use the offer of a free monthly industry update to gather contact information and spread the word about our research. CTA usage should not be limited to B2C (Business-To-Consumer) firms.


On this website, we incorporated a CTA for scheduling an appointment in the site's header. It's layered over a video for maximum eye-catching effect. Remember to decide what key actions to encourage and then work to funnel viewers toward your goal.

Combine general information with content designed to guide people to respond to your marketing. Work to eliminate obstacles between the viewer and your objectives. If you can reduce the steps involved in ordering from your business or signing up for your newsletter, do it! You will lose revenue if you demand too much of your intended customers. A CTA should increase efficiency for your targets and thus boost your conversion rate (the percentage of viewers who become buyers).

Think about this math: Assume that you reach 75,000 people each month and convert 2% into customers. A customer spends $25 with you each month. That's $37,500/month of sales. If you increase your conversion success to just 2.2% and your existing customers now spend $30 a month, your revenue per month goes up by $12,000! Thus, it's important to do anything you can to raise your conversion rate, and a CTA should be an important element of your digital marketing strategy.

Nathan Yates

Nathan Yates has been fascinated by technology and finance since he was young. He was the kid devouring the business section of the newspaper (remember those?) while others read everything else. Nathan believes that the American economy is built from the bottom-up, meaning that small businesses and local nonprofits are the foundation of our nation's success. These organizations are the lifeblood of towns and cities across the U.S. Unfortunately, most consulting firms overlook companies or organizations that don't have eight-figure budgets. Nathan thought Forward View Consulting should be different. And we are. As Lead Consultant, Nathan works with each client to deliver only the best financial and/or website development services. Nathan's years of web design experience and his business degrees ensure that professional expertise is brought to each project. Our network of contacts can offer additional specialized guidance if needed. Before creating Forward View Consulting, Nathan worked for an independent equity research firm as a Research Associate covering the industrial and energy sectors. This work involved preparing quarterly 15-40 page reports on multi-billion dollar corporations along with timely analysis of M&A activity and industry-wide news. He also managed research distribution and the company's online presence. Nathan also spent a summer serving as a local financial adviser's Research Intern. Nathan earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, graduating summa cum laude. He then earned a Master's degree in Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, where he was named the Outstanding Student in his particular concentration. Now, Nathan is an adjunct professor teaching economics and finance for his alma mater. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys fishing, reading, time with family and serving as a volunteer webmaster for the Clintwood United Methodist Church.